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Emancipation Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Juxtaposing Juneteenth and July Fourth: Emancipation, Independence and Democracy Claims

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — Seba Malcolm said it, we saw it and history has proved it. Indeed, he taught that “of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research.” Likewise, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois stated that “We can only understand the present by continually referring to and studying the past.” Thus, he continues saying “When anyone of the intricate phenomena of our daily life puzzles…

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Frederick Douglass, 1850.

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? By Frederick Douglass

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall. —— Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my…

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Emancipation Day Celebration 1900

How Deep Is America’s Reckoning with Racism?

By Commentaries/Opinions

Juneteenth is an opportunity to recover the possibilities of history. By Kerri Greenidge, New Republic — In the early 2000s, before the levees broke in New Orleans, it was still possible to be a provincial New Englander and drive in a shiny rental car down Interstate 45 toward Galveston, Texas, without feeling anything except a profound appreciation for the beauty glistening off the West Bay in the sun. Galveston is…

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A new federal holiday, Juneteenth

On Juneteenth, Let’s Celebrate Momentum of a Growing Racial Justice Movement

By Commentaries/Opinions

While recognition of Juneteenth is important, it’s just the beginning of a long road to true Black freedom. By Nicholas Powers, Truthout — “All slaves are free,” Union troops shouted. On June 19, 1865, they read Order No. 3, written by Gen. Gordon Granger to the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. Cheering crowds followed the soldiers. In the war’s aftermath, ex-Confederates attacked Blacks for celebrating freedom, but joy was stronger than fear. The…

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Juneteenth Mural

President Joe Biden Signs Juneteenth National Independence Day Act Into Law

By News & Current Affairs

By Derek Major, Black Enterprise — Hours after the House passed the bill and less than a day after returning from his first trip abroad as President, Joe Biden has signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Biden signed the bill Thursday afternoon during a White House ceremony turning the day Union soldiers and Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Tx and announced all enslaved Black Americans…

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Sheila Jackson Lee

Did Making “Juneteenth” a Law Open Up a New Door to Reparations?

By Reparations

It’s worth exploring if Congress and the President just inadvertently opened up fresh new legal avenues for reparations by passing Juneteenth and calling Tulsa a “massacre”. By Thurston Renrick, The Be Note —  It was 120 years after the first “Juneteenth” that I remember the first time I learned about Juneteenth. It was 1985 during a college recruiting trip to Texas. While the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln in…

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Amandla Baraka: We Keep Us Safe, June 2020

‘We Must Act Out Our Freedom’

By Editors' Choice

By Darryl Pinckney, NYREV — I will look for you in the stories of new kings. Juneteenth isn’t mentioned in the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois or Carter Woodson, the founder of The Journal of Negro History. I haven’t yet come across a description of the first Juneteenth celebrations equivalent to Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s report of the ceremonies for the Emancipation Proclamation as it was read aloud on Port Royal…

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Dr. The Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Message From CARICOM Chairman on the 186th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery

By Reparations

The 186th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery in the CARICOM Member-countries Which Were Colonised by Britain. By Dr. The Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) On August 1, 2020, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) commemorates the 186th anniversary of the abolition of the enslavement of Africans in the CARICOM member-countries which were colonized by Britain. In 1833,…

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Suriname Emancipation

July 1, 1863: The day of great deception in Suriname

By Reparations

For many years Surinamese people of African descent, whose ancestors worked on the plantations in the colony of Suriname, celebrated and commemorated ‘Keti Koti’ on July 1 as “Emancipation Day”. In recent years they have been doing this more and more together with others from our Republic. Many have never considered why ‘Keti Koti’ is always celebrated and/or commemorated on July 1. Also, many have never considered why the ‘Keti…

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Smoke rises from damaged properties after the Tulsa Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma June 1921.

From grandfather to grandson, the lessons of the Tulsa race massacre

By Editors' Choice

By Gregory B. Fairchild — My family sat down to watch the first episode of HBO’s “Watchmen” last October. Stephen Williams, the director, included quick cuts of gunshots, explosions, citizens fleeing roaming mobs, and even a plane dropping bombs. We’ve come to anticipate these elements in superhero films. As the sepia-toned footage spooled across the screen, the words “Tulsa 1921” were superimposed over the mayhem. My throat tightened. I knew…

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UWI’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

Journey to Juneteenth: Caribbean Solidarity

By News & Current Affairs

By Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, CARICOM Reparations Commission — As you, our African American compatriots, rise to recognize and celebrate the legal ending of the chattel bondage of our ancestors, we, your brothers and sisters from ‘your islands’ downstream Mississippi are standing with you in joyous remembrance of the journey. We have always recognized our unity as one people with a common history, legacy and cause. We fought against our…

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